Great Things

//Great Things

My Top 12 Games of 2015: #09 Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD

This one is a little bit of a surprise! A lot of you don’t know but I absolutely hated this game as a kid. When it came out it was a sign to me that Final Fantasy was dead. Sometime after its release FF11 hit and that was some “MMO” that seemed like it was just using the numbers to pad things. It made more sense to me to call that “FFO”, but they didn’t. Anyways, if not for FF12 I’d have stopped paying attention to square altogether as a kid. I’m not sure if I can consider this an old game or a new game, so as far as spoilers go. I’m just going to say right now, obviously I like the game now. If you don’t want anything ruined for you turn back now. I won’t immediately start shitting out story elements but, assuming my fingers don’t freeze off, I’m probably going to in a bit.

Perhaps with age this game has become something better. I’ve not yet Platinumed this game but if I got bored for another week I could do so. I put a lot of time into it this time around, just…holy shit. So much time. I don’t know what it was about this time compared to my first time as a kid. Maybe it has been so long since I played 7 through 9 that I’m not longer stunned by the quality drop? Perhaps it was never there to begin with. I know I can almost stomache Tidus now. He’s still one of the most insufferable bastards in the entire series but less so for me now. I still find most of the cast interesting, Wakka being my true protagonist, and this time around I even liked Kimahri. I dunno why, he’s technically awful, but he grew on me. Something about his silent charm I guess.

Final Fantasy X has probably one of the worst leveling systems I’ve ever experienced. The Sphere Grid is a giant pile of dogshit in my opinion. Lemme preface most of what I’ll be complaining about, I get it, this isn’t objectively true, but holy shit. Goddamn do I hate it. If the Sphere Grid got taken out behind a barn and shot I’d not shed a single tear. It is the single biggest blight on this game. There are charities that would decline money if it was donated by the Sphere Grid. Support Groups have risen and fallen to help guide people through the hellish bullshit that is this god forsaken system. I hate it, I hate it so much. I never have any goddamn clue which of my characters is uber or not. How hard would it have been to have a simple “total spheres unlocked” counter for each character? That would have been roughly similar to a level counter. But no, someone at Square is literally Hitler. We all thought he died but really he hid out in Japan and waited all this time to put the Sphere Grid into the game. Thanks, Hitler.

You might think that if I hate literally the foundation of character growth that I must hate the game. But surprisingly no! Somehow this game manages to keep me very happy nearly from start to finish. There is one big exception, the legendary quest that requires I get 0:00:00 on the Chocobo Race was also made by Hitler. That was his evil redemption for telling Becky in accounting that she had left her coffee in the break room. He felt filthy for doing something nice and had to absolve his guiltless conscious. That aside though, great times. The story is pretty standard as far as JRPGs go. That is until it drops the sixth sense on your ass.

While you are seeing dead people the game also takes a turn into one of the most tired cliches imaginable. “Peace can only be found through death.” Diablo 3 recently did this with the Reapers of Souls expansion and I rolled my eyes there just as I did here. It’s incredibly stupid and something I could rant about for hours. Technically its not peace if everyone is dead, its a null state of being. It is neither true nor false. But! I forgive it for the terrible premise because I get to kill all the things that made up said premise. It’s like a story introducing a terrible arc, then introducing the author of said arc, then killing them in front of you (in the story). It’s cathartic.

The combat is pretty solid. Turn based with the option to make it live (that is, the moment you or the AI gets their ATB filled they act immediately). I prefer active play with the exception of areas with bombs. Those assholes are pretty good at wiping you. On the topic of assholes, this version of FFX introduces Shadow Aion (may have had a different name, I think Dark Aion). These assholes will basically surprise you and then proceed to one shot your party at all sorts of unpredictable locations on the map. Sure hope you didn’t do what I did and zone in on the game, not saving for hours. Because when you don’t realize the DA are in the game and Ixion descends upon you…boy howdy do…is that an experience.

Yojimbo makes short work of them and he’s so damn cool to me. I love everything about Yojimbo. His design, his moves, his dog. It’s all just so yummy. The Aion in general are pretty neat.

The music is just great in this game. Nobuo Uematsu is my musical spirit animal. I’m somewhat convinced he can do no wrong and I’ll be happy to ignore information to the contrary. The music never gets too loud to hear the audio, a problem I have with XCX, and it tends to fit the moment excellently. They help capture emotion in scenes that might not have otherwise been there. A certain laughing moment notwithstanding.

The whole world looks great too. I love the aesthetic and Spira is a place that, barring the murderous leviathan scouring life from the lands, I’d like to check out if it were real. It makes you want to go sailing. Blitzball is kinda neat, but the achievements related to it are a giant pile of dog turds. It’s not an awful game but it’s not something that I can recommend many people grind either. I did it to completion on the PS2 and apparently haven’t had it in me to complete it again.

What else…Well I mean. Even not considering X-2 I’d say this is a real good game. It’s technically great because here I am coming back to it many years later and playing it when plenty of newer options were available. And I mean…I really played it.

https://www.playstation.com/en-us/my/compare-game-trophies/

The trophies I’m missing at this point aren’t even hard, they are just shitty grinds. There is something about this game that really just works now that I’m older. It feels right. For all the things I hate, the things I like outshine them. X-2 is like a lovely extra. That’s another game that I didn’t get as a kid, even if I liked it more than X, and now it’s even better. X-2 is a less linear experience which makes it interesting but also might hurt it.

I like the cast, I’m totally cool with the girl band story. It once again has great music, a fun cast, good combat mechanics, and and acceptable story. I’ll admit that I can’t remember the leveling system at all currently. This must mean that it is way better than the Sphere Grid. Whatever it is, good on you Square for not doing that shit twice. If you only got X or X-2 I think I’d rank this a “Good” but the fact that you get >both< makes it Great. There is just so much to offer here. It's not the best FF title ever, probably not even top 5, but that doesn't mean that it is awful. I loathe comparing games of different genres to one another. So I'll simply say that of the title that it shares a family with and supersedes on this list, technically I'd probably say that XC3D is a better title. If I could hook up my 3DS to the television and play that game on there I think these two spots would be swapped. But as it stands, in the year of 2015, it was FFX that really took me by storm. I put down every other game when it released and just played it religiously. Not because I felt like I had to, but because I wanted to. That's more than I can say for a lot of games and I think it speaks well to just how good this game is. Fuck the Sphere Grid.

By | 2015-12-17T18:00:35+00:00 December 16th, 2015|Great Things, Reviews|Comments Off on My Top 12 Games of 2015: #09 Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD

My Top 12 Games of 2015: #10 Pillars of Eternity

Another cold night. My nose is running slightly and my joints creak, brittled by the chill. It seems appropriate then that I would be pining over Pillars of Eternity today. One of the few things that I’ve kickstarted and, like the rest, a project I have 0 regrets for backing. Pillars of Eternity harkens back to the days of Neverwinter or Baldur’s Gate. Games that gave you incredible customization options, deep conversations, and wonderful writing. Well, I’m told I was the one person that enjoyed the writing in the original Neverwinter, but that’s all that matters for my entertainment!

I apparently lost my game progress when I upgraded my Windows. So new character it is!

I apparently lost my game progress when I upgraded my Windows. So new character it is!

Pillars of Eternity starts you off with a pretty thick character customization section. You can pick your sex (yes please [still got the jokes, go me]), race, class, culture, and even a voice. Your stats are granular and harken back to ye olden times of DND. Back when games weren’t terrified of alienating people and presumed that you’d rise to the challenge of learning them. I decided for this run I’ll be playing as one of the Seraphim from my fantasy stories. Phoe is the Seraphim of Sound, a being whose presence is enough to rattle the very building blocks of your being apart. While they don’t actually have a sex I’ve always kind of envisioned this character as closer to feminine than masculine. Boom, got that down. The races are actually even more granular than you might think. Not only having you pick a supertype but also a subtype based on regions or other factors. Of the subtypes of “Godlike” I chose the Moon. Looking pretty slick! Next I chose Chanter, Chanters are basically bards. While you battle there is a series of songs you’ll sing through that have sometimes dramatic impacts on the battlefield. Get into the groove enough and you’ll be dropping some heavy tide turning spells.

I organized my stats to maximize the impact of my class, the game is kind enough to put a gold or silver star beside stats that are either VERY important or merely better than the rest. Culture was a bit of a tossup, and much like race it too has a subtype. I am a drifter, sound waits for nothing. And I picked an avatar that looked close to my character as well as a voice that fit what I envision her personality to be like.

In game the controls match up with isometric RPGs you’ve played before. Hotkeys to select your team members, click to move. And a variety of extra buttons to change the speed of the game, open up various menus, and all the other essentials of roleplaying. Your character icons also give you some really handy updates on important status changes for your characters.

Might want to get that checked out...

Might want to get that checked out…

You can actually play this game pretty actively with the each character doing their action the moment they are ready. I’ll be honest, I’m just not confident enough in myself to try and pull that shit off. So instead I went into the options and toggled a few of the “Auto pause” features. It’s pretty slick, you can set it to pause on damage, seeing enemies, or other “oh shit” moments that you might want to have a moment to mull over. In particular I highly recommend “auto pause on enemy noticing you”. It probably has a slightly different name.

This is another long game. I’ve not actually finished it in truth, which is a pattern you’ll catch with a lot of my list. But it’s not for lack of interest. This game grabbed me by the ghoulies almost immediately and it never truly let go. I love how bleak and hopeless a lot of the world feels. The aesthetics are spot on. Their environment artists did a wonderful job of capturing a brutally honest visual theme. Everything feels “hard” in a way that I can’t quite articulate. It gives me flashbacks to times when I’d make a tiny mistake and lose everything in a game.

Make no mistake, this game certainly hits a lot of nostalgic notes but it is also a great game in its own right. The combat is just delightful in my opinion. You can easily move between characters and queue up moves. If you’d rather just control your main character they have some AI controls that I’ve admittedly not done much with. The music in the game really works for me. I’ve never had the urge to turn it off and I don’t think I’ve ever even turned it down from the default settings. Some, but not all, of the story content is voice acted. This game didn’t have the bottomless wallets of other titles and that’s alright with me. Turns out I know how to read and I had a good time reading through everything I’ve found and everything characters have said.

Even in the time I played it I found a lot of side content and fun secrets. This game really does highlight just how good games can still be. It does little to caudle the player but it also provides ample difficulty options to allow both new interested game enthusiasts as well as old diehard Bloodborne demon soulers. I’m somewhere in the middle, probably closer to the new players than the balls deep hardcore users.

Pillars of Eternity is an absolutely delightful experience. I think if you have the slightest interest in isometric RPGs you should give it a look. Ultimately it DOES get overshadowed by Divinity: Original Sin, in my opinion, but I think they both fill a different visceral need for this genre. If I was a bigger tool I’d be reviewing the Enhanced Edition of that game instead, but I won’t. Let this be the short review for it, go buy it also.

I’ll probably fart up this line each time I talk about the rest of my 2015 games but this is a darn good game. As some folks know my ratings for games basically fall into one of five categories. Terrible games are games that offend me outright, bad games are games that just leave me feeling a bit worse off than before I played them, okay games are games I liked but didn’t really add or remove from my life, good games are games that are I quite like but might not go back and play once I’ve finished them, and finally Great games are games I routinely find myself reinstalling and playing again.

That isn’t to say they are the best things ever made, but they are good enough that a single pass doesn’t feel like enough for me. This squarely falls into that realm. I could probably play through it once every few years and have a good time doing so. With that out of the way, I give Pillars of Eternity the ole “Great” stamp of approval.

By | 2015-12-15T21:19:40+00:00 December 15th, 2015|Great Things, Reviews|Comments Off on My Top 12 Games of 2015: #10 Pillars of Eternity

My Top 12 Games of 2015: #11 Xenoblade Chronicles 3D

This is one of the more interesting games on my list. I haven’t actually finished it yet and there is a good reason for that. This game is huge! I haven’t played a portable game with this kind of girth in a very long time. It takes me back to the first time I played Pokemon Gold/Silver. I remember finishing up the main game and thinking “This is the biggest game I’ve ever played.” Then, I come to find out, the entire world from Red/Blue was in there. Holy cow! How is there so much game here! That moment came to me again while playing this. I’m awed sometimes by what people fit on things. I realize that micro SD cards are up into the hundreds of gigabytes (potentially terabytes) but it still floors me. Even in my young age I’m still old enough to remember using floppy discs to try and transfer Sim City 2000 from a friends house to mine.

For the record that plan didn’t work out.

XC (as I’ll be calling it because my hands are cold and I can’t type for shit today) has you playing as the hunky but adorable Shulk. Very early on in the game you can get the characters bathing suit outfits, it’s a delight. That said there is a “touching” moment in the beginning that gets kinda ruined when everyone is running around in their skivvies. I am digressing, the story has you playing as Shulk as a member of the “Homs”. This is the name for humans in this world, which itself takes place on literal gods. The creation story here isn’t just some pie in the sky bullshit, you are legitimately living atop one of the two gods of creation (as far as I can tell).

Who lives on the other god? Well, the Mechons naturally and they are giant assholes. Variably sized mechanical monstrosities that love eating Homs. Seriously, they gorge on people like its Thanksgiving every day. It’s a thing to behold and surprisingly brutal for a Nintendo Console Game. I have 0 complaints about that, mind. Fairly quickly into the game Shulk will get his signature sword, whose name you better not forget: The Monado.

But worry not! If you do forget they’ll say it. Roughly once every 4 words. “The Monado saved us, which is good, had they gotten the Monado, that Monado worked out! But it did. Monado.” It borders on parody throughout the game as Shulk is more likely to say Monado than he is the names of his friends or quest givers. The voice acting is slick as shit by the way! I love it. All the VA work is grand to me. I also really like the music and the sound effects. This game feels really top notch all around. The game systems can be a little confusing at times but that is equally rad to me. I love a game that makes me work for it. I get a little tingly just thinking about experiences like the first time I learned to do something in Dwarf Fortress. That moment of revelation is intellectually erotic to me. Braingasms as they say.

The cast is really cool so far. I’ve met Reyn, Fiora, Sharla, Dunban, Melia, and Riki. I’m uncertain if this is the entire cast but I’ll talk a short bit about them now. I won’t be going into any spoilers. This is simply my take on them. Reyn is rad, I really like him. He’s got my kind of humor, he’s a bit of a dumb headed smartass. It’s awesome, I feel like more RPGs need a character as fun to be around as Reyn. Fiora exists, I guess, she hasn’t really stuck around in my mind too much. She’s not bad, she’s like your everyday average person. I can’t criticize her for being realistic. Sharla, jesus. I almost came to hate her because of her brother. He’s the biggest pain in the ass to ever be in an RPG. He’s the NPC you always want to die but keeps coming back. Maybe someday he will die in this game, maybe the writers will give me that moment. Sharla unfortunately shares his scent, I see her and remember him. Dunban is basically Sephiroth but if he were a good guy. Maybe more accurately he’s Auron from FFX. Cool dude. Melia is pretty neat, I like her quite a lot. She has that mystique about her that really works for me. I’ve begun using her more than Sharla. And finally. Riki.

Riki is my Heropon. The cinnamon on my roll. He’s so great, I added him to my team the moment I could and I haven’t looked back. I don’t care if he’s strategically not viable. Riki all the way. I’ll be finishing this game with him dropping all sorts of debuffs on our foes.

riki

Look at him! Jesus H. Tabbernackle! I love him.

The gameplay is really interesting. This is the kind of active system I don’t mind. It is still technically turn based but your turns are based around your moves more than your actual character. It hits a lot of the same notes that FF12 did for me, and those of you who have seem me rambling about games know that I really like FF12. You can have up to 8 skills that, in many cases, can combo up to give additional effects or damage. It’s a neat system and I really like trying to maximize my output with it. Additionally you auto attack as long as you are in range. This means that sometimes I can kinda AFK while my team takes care of stuff if I want to level while sorta mentally checking out. I appreciate that.

Also, the Monado has the most Monado powers of all Monados. Shulk is not “required” for your team in the literal sense, but the Monado busts so much ass that you wouldn’t want to avoid using him. I let the AI handle my friends (even though I could control them).

There is also a base building system in the game that is sorta rudimentary but still neat! I really like having an impact on the world around me in RPGs even if it is somewhat light. Also there is a booklet called the “Collectopedia” which hits some pretty deep rooted needs in my life. I love going from map to map to find the missing items from it. It’s basically a stampbook that also gives you lots of nice stuff if you complete it.

There are a shit ton of side quests. So much so that most people suggest you don’t do them all. It’ll, I’m told, crush your soul eventually. I haven’t hit that point yet but I can see where people might be coming from. Additionally the mobs in a zone can vary by tens of levels. This is pretty cool and makes it feel more alive. But it also means you might stumble into a really pissed off level 99 gonnafuckyourfaceasaurus when you meant to be farming level 5 pigchickens.

I want to point out “gonnafuckyourfaceasaurus” did not flag in my client as misspelled. Not joking. Guess that’s a word now.

I'm serious.

I’m serious.

Admittedly this game could end awful. Maybe the conclusion of this story will be a giant box of camel shit and I’ll walk away sad. But I really can’t see that being the case. After a few days of played hours I’m finding myself absolutely delighted by it. This is one of the best handheld experiences I’ve ever been lucky enough to have played. This is a tentative review, I may come back and edit this if the end of the game falls flat. But as of my current experience. I’d say this is a great game. It provides so much content for a mobile game that I keep waiting for it to remind me I owe it more money. The graphics are just fine, the controls never take away from the experience for me, the actual gameplay mechanics are solid, the enemies never really get boring, the major villains presented thus far have character, and so on and so forth.

It does little to offend and does quite a lot to impress. All that I really ask from games.

By | 2015-12-14T21:53:01+00:00 December 14th, 2015|Great Things, Reviews|Comments Off on My Top 12 Games of 2015: #11 Xenoblade Chronicles 3D

Reviews: Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void

I’ve been playing RTS games for about 20 years now. One of my first games was Warcraft I on the PC. You’d think after all this time that I’d be good at them. But you’d be wrong. I love them deeply but I’ve always been somewhat terrible at them. Starcraft II is no exception to this rule. I struggle on hard difficulty (but generally steamroll normal or casual mode), and Brutal might as well not exist for me. I appreciate though that Starcraft II allows that kind of malleability for me. Each mission has 4 different difficulties you can choose from. Casual, Normal, Hard, and Brutal. The further to the right you get the more unreasonable the handicaps between you and the AI grow. Each mission also has achievements which try to inspire you to play the level a little differently or even possibly learn something new about a unit or hero that you might have otherwise missed.

These can only be collected on normal or higher but it’s not so great a hurdle to be alienating. The general formula for RTS games, at least the ones I like, is that you build a base and send out units against your enemies. This base building has been stripped from a lot of modern RTS games and I find it absolutely awful. I’m genuinely glad that Starcraft did not go this same direction. I get the desire for everything to be fast and competitive, but there is some personality that is lost for me when I’m not actively defending a base of my own design.

The main campaign is respectfully long. 19 (or so) missions of varying length that take you across the journey of the Protoss as they try to defeat the dark god Amon. Without context this shouldn’t mean much to you but it at least should help set the stage for what is to come when you play the game. The story up to now is that the Protoss and the Zerg have been mutilated and manipulated to create a new hybrid strain, which I believe is always simply called the Hybrid. It’s a pain in the ass which takes the best characteristics from both factions. Naturally the Terrans are left on the side wishing they were cool enough to be a part of the Hybrid. We can’t all be winners, I suppose.

I've been on the internet long enough to know where this is going.

I’ve been on the internet long enough to know where this is going.

The story isn’t complex, as I’ve mentioned before, and it doesn’t need to be. The black and white nature of the conflict is actually becoming something of a rarity in our new “everything is gray” world of storytelling. I like both and seeing a mix in my gaming life is totally welcome. If for some reason you find yourself unmoved by the single player offerings then Starcraft II is still likely for you. There are a ton of different modes to play with friends, against friends, or strangers. The maps are generally pretty well balanced and enjoyable, the three races all have their benefits and their weaknesses, and the gameplay doesn’t ever really get stagnate.

Additionally they’ve got an arcade mode where you can play custom games built by the community. Folks have made RPGs, overhead shooters, and I believe I’ve even seen a board game on there. This is cool for both builders and players alike. Unfortunately the Archon mode that they advertised is only player vs. player which makes it pointless for me. I wanted to help teach my wife the game against the AI but am left only with co-op mode. It’s not terrible but it could have been much more productive as an Archon AI mode.

The actual “mission” system for co-op is a bit lacking. It includes a few maps from the main game that you can play with a friend. The problem is that on normal a lot of these missions are >way< too hard for a new player. It's a great way to overwhelm a fresh face and turn them away from the game entirely. I'd have preferred an archon mode for the campaign as well. These missing tidbits are almost painful for me as they would have provided me with an incredible experience to share with my wife. That said the game was still worth every penny. You can now grab the entire trilogy from their website for 60 dollars or so. Easily day's worth of enjoyment if you are playing nonstop. The multiplayer is vast and some of the best in the world. The single player is fun and diverse. You'll likely never find yourself board from beginning to end. Legacy of the Void stumbles in some places, mostly in the timidness with their implementation of good ideas. But everywhere else it performs excellently. Also the cut scenes are amazing. It appears that they did most of it without CGI and its just stellar. If it is CGI its in that weird uncanny valley where it looks like in game renderings. Either way, I liked it a lot. Great game, good times to be had. If you like RTS games you won't regret playing this at all. If you don't, well, it's not a very expensive series to get into. All three games are standalones but I feel like Starcraft II is best experienced in its entirety. Starcraft II is great, I still think it could have been even greater but those improvements are potentially only a patch away.

By | 2015-11-15T19:30:50+00:00 November 13th, 2015|Great Things, Reviews|1 Comment

Reviews: Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance

I’ve been waiting on Disgaea 5 for quite some time. I was excited from the moment it was announced. I’ve played every Disgaea entry to date and I’ve enjoyed all of them to varying degrees. The more the series matures the more NISA seems to understand what needs to change and what needs to stay the same. I do worry sometimes that their streamlining will eventually go “too far” but that day has not yet come. I’m happy to say that, with the exception of duping, everything in this entry is the best I can remember. So let’s get on with the review, if you can smell some bias just note that this series is tailor made for folks like myself. If you’ve agreed with previous reviews of mine this’ll be accurate for you, otherwise, take it with a grain of salt.

Ah yeah, memories.

Ah yeah, memories.

Disgaea 5 tasks you with controlling a small army of characters against the infamous Void Dark, a brooding figure that is quickly conquering the entire netherverse (which they insist on called the netherworlds). With nearly each new netherworld you uncover you’ll be introduced to a new character that will join your posse. I liked all of them and don’t think anyone stood out as a bad addition. The main character is a cliche dark brooding figure initially but I think they get into a stride with him as the story progresses. Red Magnus is what would happen if Dwayne Johnson was a character in Disgaea and he’s every bit as fun to be around. Seraphina, the female protagonist counter to Killia, is the Overlord of the richest Netherworld in all known universes. Naturally she’s spoiled but they do it fairly well with her.

A new mechanic with this series is the “Overload” skills. Basically if you get the shit beat out of you enough you’ll go into a limit break mode, ala Final Fantasy. In this mode you’ve generally got 3 turns where all your skills cost a single mana, they always crit, and for some characters you’ll unlock a super move. All of the super moves are fun, one makes a character massive, another entrances all the male baddies around you, and another causes its user to go absolutely beast mode on everything in a single turn.

This is gonna hurt.

This is gonna hurt.

The enemies too can get Overload, and sometimes this can actually turn the tides of a battle against you. I only lost a few matches (and that was much, much, later into the game because I forgot about my cheat shop settings), but when things get close it is generally because of the bad guys getting this off.

The game is very malleable. You can play it as quickly or as slowly as you want. Because of the cheat shop, a system that allows you to modify tons of facets from difficulty, to percentages for experience and other stats, the game really lets you make it what you want it to be. I find that you can finish basically the entire main story with minimal grinding, and if that’s all you want to experience of this game then you’ll be quite pleased with that I’d say. But if you want to take it to the Nth degree, with tens of millions of stats, you’ll be putting in a bit of time.

However that’s entirely up to you.

Gonna be eating well tonight!

Gonna be eating well tonight!

The modes are staggering. The innocents make a return (innocents are effectively enhancements for your items) and you can now breed them and farm them, literally farm them. This means that while you are playing the game normally you can easily cap out some important innocents like Statisticians (EXP) or Managers (Mana) without needing to divert your time away to the previously less fun experience of unlocking these things.

The addition of Squads allows you to assign characters to small groups that have perks like sharing EXP, sharing mana, enhancing your innocent farm, creating items from scratch (so many gency’s exits!), and more! I really like the squad system. You’ll upgrade your various squads via the interrogation system which is pretty basic but still neat. You can convert people you interrogate into resources, have them join your army, or assign them to the squads to level them up. Every character in the game has their own special move alongside 4 (5?) other moves they can use to interrogate. Personally I’ve got Seraphina working that job as she seems like the type that would enjoy torturing people.

The character world has turned into a board game and I actually quite like it. It reminded me a lot of the character creator in the japanese version of Project Justice. I enjoy bantering about on it and finding all the various random odds and ends. Unfortunately as a board game you cannot use it to clone gear on your characters, but I think the cute factor and the fun change of pace more than make up for it.

The best part is you literally get a pie after this, to use as a fist weapon.

The best part is you literally get a pie after this, to use as a fist weapon.

The evility system is cleaned up and very neat. Basically you can assign varying abilities to your characters, the potency of these abilities will determine how many slots they take up (or to put it another way, the more slots it takes, likely the cooler it is). Additionally you can use the new “sub class” system to have any character learn (albeit slowly at first) all the abilities of other classes without reincarnating into them.

There are still unique abilities that cannot be transferred, so there is some reason to get other classes going.

Disgaea 5 also introduces a fair number of new monsters. I was surprised by how many times I was seeing something new. I believe I’ve seen some new items as well but I’ll admit that it’s been a while since I played Disgaea 4 and I may have just forgotten what things looked like. The special moves in game all look great and all of them are new animations, you’ll find yourself quickly shattering planets or punching people (literally) into other dimensions. Once you’ve seen everything, if you wish to level faster, you can set the game to skip all animations you’ve seen before. If at any time during combat you change your mind you can hold R2 to see them (or skip them) if you wish.

I’ve put about 70 hours into this game so far and as far as I can recall I’ve enjoyed it all. I like the story, I like the cast, I like the items, I like the modes, I like the visuals, and I like the music. There is very little about this game that I can find that I don’t like. The duping system is terrible now, but the game streamlines so many things that I’m uncertain if you even need it. You can get a very, very, powerful character without even wearing any gear. Something I’ll need to write a guide about soon.

If you’ve got the time and money to spare, as well as a PS4, I highly recommend this game. It might not be for everyone, especially if you don’t like Japanese humor, but if you do it’ll give you plenty of chuckles and many many hours of entertainment. Top notch work by NISA.

I leave you with my Netherworld charging its cannon in order to destroy another invading netherworld. Good times, good times indeed.

I leave you with my Netherworld charging its cannon in order to destroy another invading netherworld.
Good times, good times indeed.

PEW!

PEW!

By | 2015-10-19T00:59:38+00:00 October 17th, 2015|Great Things, Reviews|Comments Off on Reviews: Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance